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Industrial Processes Bulletin

How to Design
Spray Nozzle Headers

Keeping the liquid distribution consistent within that. Otherwise, if you have a choice, the height
can be an element you use to optimize the process.
In many cases, covering an area with spray requires
more than one nozzle. If so, you should start to give the At this point, look at the optimal spray overlap diagram
nozzle positions some thought using a few simple below.

There are two main approaches: Full cone and flat fan
arrays. Each has its purpose and primary applications.
In this section we’ll discuss the latter. In the next section
we’ll discuss full cones.

Flat fan headers TARGET

When the object is to wash a moving target, a flat fan SPRAY

header is typically the first choice. This includes:

„ Washing a product on a conveyor.

„ Washing the conveyor belt itself.
„ Rinsing cake on a filter belt. This illustration makes a few assumptions: Many flat fan
„ Spraying a web or large sheet. nozzle designs have “tapered” or “parabolic” distribution.
It means that more of the spray is concentrated in the
The common element is that the product is moving past middle of the fan than the edges. This is deliberate and
the nozzles and a narrow spray line (sort of a curtain) is for just this type of application. (Lechler’s catalog
desirable. The typical configuration is a group of flat fan indicates which of our product lines have this feature.
nozzles arranged on a header pipe positioned across With other manufacturers you may have to ask.) The
the target. While this is not a difficult setup, a few idea is that when the sprays are overlapped by 30%, the
moments of analysis can help you determine the nozzle liquid will be distributed evenly across the full width.
selection and arrangement to keep the liquid and impact
distribution even across the full width. The sprays need to be offset slightly so the
droplets do not collide in mid air. Since they are coming
When making the design, there are several elements to from different directions, providing a little extra space
consider: allows them to follow their path without impinging on
each other.
Flow Rate and Pressure — Your process and available
equipment will decide these parameters. Ultimately the That in mind, look at the two examples on the next page.
total flow will have to be divided among the number of Both have the header in the same position (8" above the
nozzles selected. target) and use the 30% overlap suggested. Both have
the same combined flow rate and operate at the same
Header Position — Frequently the final location of the pressure (10 GPM at 40 PSI), but the effect of the two
header is determined by equipment constraints. will be different. Here are the details:
There is only so much space and you have to work

Lechler, Inc. 1-800-777-2926
Header A uses 17 Lechler nozzle (632.512.16.BC; .59 your application, and we will design it to maximize the
GPM at 40 PSI, 25° spray angle) spaced 2.45" apart. effectiveness you’re looking for.
This is a large number of small capacity narrow angle
sprays. Making calculations such as this is easier with our
Spray Nozzle Calculator. This FREE handy slide chart is
available at your request. See the back page for details.

Full cone headers

Covering a large area evenly

In the previous section we discussed the process of

laying out headers using flat fan nozzles. These are
especially useful when trying to spray a moving target
such as something carried on a conveyor.

There are other types of applications where it is neces-

sary to cover a large area without either the nozzles or
Header B uses 5 Lechler nozzles (632.726.16.BC; 1.95 the target moving. Examples could be distributing liquid
GPM at 40 PSI, 80° spray angle) spaced 9.10" apart. over packing in a tower or washing mist eliminator
This is a smaller number of larger capacity wide angle panels. These applications call for a large array of full
sprays. cone nozzles distributed over the surface. If you spend
a few minutes making a sketch of the installation and
doing a few calculations, you can generate a nozzle
layout that will make the liquid distribution very consis-
tent over the surface.

Looking at the two diagrams below and on the next

page, you will see that there are two typical layouts, the
square layout and offset layout. Either method works,
but they have their own characteristics.

Header A would cost more and be more work with 12 Square layout is easiest with minimal overlap. If cover-
more mounts to fabricate, so why would somebody do age is not highly critical, this can be the most cost
that? It depends on what the spray is supposed to do. effective approach. However, if the nozzles are too
While both headers would distribute the liquid evenly, narrow or the header is too low, the intersections at the
Header A would also distribute the impact much more corners can open into voids. If the opposite is the case,
evenly. Look at the vectors of the droplets on Header A. the corners can become heavy spots with overlap from
They are much more perpendicular to the surface they four nozzles.

With Header B, the impact is concentrated directly

below each nozzle in 5 bands across the spray width.
Contrast that with the areas where the nozzles overlap.
There the droplets are hitting at almost a 45° angle after
traveling a longer path from the nozzle. The impact
would be much lower. However, if impact uniformity is
not the concern, this would be a more economical
choice. Additionally, by using larger capacity nozzles,
Header B would be harder to clog.

The key is determining which characteristics are most

important to you. Impact? Header simplicity? Clog
resistance? Mounting constraints? Fortunately, Lechler
offers a wide enough line of flat fan nozzle capacities
and configurations to handle just about any job. Ask for
a copy of our latest catalog if you don’t have one.
What’s more, we can design and fabricate custom
headers for your application. Let us know the details of

Lechler, Inc. 1-800-777-2926

Offset layout requires a few more nozzles, but is fre- perpendicular spray is required, a narrower nozzle will
quently preferred as more forgiving of slight variations in accomplish that. Unfortunately, that will increase the
nozzle spray angle and header height position. There is number of nozzles and headers.
little chance that holes can form in the spray and the
maximum possible layering at any point is three. This Making the position calculation is not complicated. Once
security also comes at the cost of about 15% more you have chosen the spray angle nozzle that you want
headers. to use, calculate the diameter of the spray circle at the
appropriate distance.

For square arrangements, multiply the spray diameter

by 0.7 which will give 30% overlap between the sprays.
This measure then becomes the distance between the
nozzles on the headers “X” and the distance between
the header center lines”Y”.

For offset arrangements, use the same calculation for

the distance between the nozzles on the header,
however the headers need to be closer together and
offset by half the distance between the nozzles. Multiply
the nozzle spacing distance “X” by 0.85 for the header
spacing “Y”.

These calculations are easier using our handy Spray

Nozzle Calculator. This FREE slide chart is available at
your request. See the back cover for details.
Full cone nozzles are available in both narrow and wide
spray angles. When impact is not a major concern, In addition to making individual nozzles, Lechler can
using the widest spray angle possible, 120°, will mini- design and build headers for many applications. Give
mize the number of nozzles and headers. However, us your dimensions, flow rates and so forth, and we can
droplets at the edges of the individual spray circles hit lay out the configuration for whatever spray attributes
the target at only 30° above horizontal. If a more you need. Just ask for help.

Height Considerations for Headers using Flat Fan Nozzles

Distance A

Distance B

Distance C

Distance A
Insufficient height from surface to allow full coverage
Either move nozzles closer together or raise header.

Distance B
Optimum height level for this spacing of nozzles.
Flat fan nozzles overlap by 30%, giving complete coverage.

Distance C
Acceptable overlap for rinsing.
Greater distances from nozzles will reduce wash impact effectiveness.

Lechler, Inc. 1-800-777-2926

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Since 1879

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technology is at your know what you want and
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nozzles for: our catalog. It is full of
technical information on
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manufacturing cesses and applications.
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